Latino Roots I:
The dominant historical narrative for the state of Oregon has centered on the Anglo-American pioneer experience. In this course, we will broaden the historical narrative of the state of Oregon through studying, theorizing, and documenting the depth and breadth of Latino and Latin American immigration, settlement, social movements, and civic and political integration in Oregon during the 20th century. This history will be embedded in the larger racial/ethnic and colonial histories of the territory which became the state of Oregon.
After an initial five weeks of reading secondary texts and historical documents, students will learn the methodologies of archival research, oral history interviews, and journalistic and audio/visual recording. This course combines ethnographic and journalistic documentation of the ethnic histories of Oregon with oral history research and preservation. This class is the first in a two-course sequence.
Latino Roots II:
This course is a continuation of Latino Roots I and it is designed for producing a short documentary using oral history as the backbone of the story. The course covers basic theory and practice of digital film/video documentary production. The course reinforces what was learned in Latino Roots I and it furthers the technical, aesthetic, and research fundamentals of documentary making. The course will cover the different elements of pre-production, production, and post-production phases. The course will work primarily as a lab, however some lectures and documentary viewings will take place as well.
This course is a unique academic collaboration between University of Oregon’s Department of Anthropology and the School of Journalism and Communication. For more information about the departments and people, visit:
Department of Anthropology: http://pages.uoregon.edu/anthro/
School of Journalism and Communication: http://jcomm.uoregon.edu/
2013 Student Documentaries
“I am a junior at the University of Oregon majoring in Journalism and minoring in Ethnic Studies. The Latino Roots course has helped me define my career goals and I am strongly considering focusing on documentary production. I moved from Guadalajara, Mexico five years ago and I would like to work for the Spanish speaking community in Oregon because that is the language I feel more comfortable working in”.
“I am a graduate student in cultural anthropology. This class allowed me to produce research that is visually and aurally interesting. Academic products tend to be overly textual and documentaries are alternative formats for research”.
“I am a first year graduate student in the International Studies program and I plan to work with Latino and Brazilian communities after I graduate. The Latino Roots class has been very influential for me in gaining a better understanding of the history of Latino immigration to Oregon. Both Professors Lynn Stephen and Gabriela Martinez have inspired me to consider doing documentary shorts for my thesis research in Brazil. The skills I am acquiring in doing ethnographic research and oral testimony will be especially helpful in my fieldwork as I will be interviewing young adults from the shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro. This project will give people a glimpse into the lives of some of the Latinos who have immigrated to Oregon and will tell of their amazingly diverse stories we have come across”.
“I am a first year doctoral student in the Media Studies program. I study international and development communication, and my research focus is on the use of online and mobile phone games as development tools. As part of my master’s thesis I created a 20-minute documentary on a non-profit organization in Ghana. Since then I’ve looked for ways to blend research with production work and hope to continue to do so in the future”.
“I am a double major in International Studies and Spanish with Anthropology minor. I am interested in pursuing a career in local community development in Latin America as well as in communities in the US. Working on this project has furthered my knowledge about the diversity of the Latino population, and how ambiguous that term is. I have also learned that there is a large history of Latino presence in Oregon. This project has been one of my favorite endeavors at the University of Oregon because I had a chance to create a relationship with my subject as well as conduct undergraduate research”.
“My name is Mike Goris and I am a 2nd year Master’s Student in the Media Studies program at the School of Journalism and Communication. I have worked with photography and film since high school and have always been fascinated with people and their stories. I focus mostly on photography, but have produced several short documentaries during my time at the University of Oregon”.
“I am an instructor of Spanish at Oregon State University. I will be studying anthropology full time at UO starting fall 2013. My research interests are drug-trafficking, crime, policing, immigration, borderlands, Mexico, Latin America, and Latinas/os in the U.S. Participating in the Latino Roots project has broadened my perspective of how access to education serves as a vehicle to empower Latino communities to disrupt inequitable, socially-constructed systems based on race, ethnicity, gender, etc.”.
“The experience in this class has been eye opening in terms of the historical issues of race, class and discrimination in Oregon. Understanding how these elements have occurred throughout time, and then seeing the direct result in so many individuals lives has been truly staggering. Learning to explore a story and tell it in a creative way such as video is both challenging and rewarding. I feel so inspired by Blanca’s story and this class has provided a framework to tell it”.
“I am a senior anthropology major. I wasn’t expecting documentary film making to be so enjoyable. I originally took this class because of the subject matter. Once I got behind the camera though I realized this is something I might want to pursue further. I love this class. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time from across a wide range of skill sets. I wish this is a class that I could have taken earlier in my college career because it has influenced me greatly”.
“I am a junior broadcast journalism and Spanish major at the University of Oregon. The Latino Roots series combines both of my fields of study and I have used some of the ethnographic interview methods we were taught in my work with Duck TV News. This class has helped me analyze my own roots as well, since I am a Mexican-American who also moved to Oregon like many of the subjects of this video series”.
“I am a graduate student in cultural anthropology at the University of Oregon. I am interested in public anthropology and video ethnography. The Latino Roots class has helped me to explore the links between personal stories and larger social and historical narratives related to the Latino experience in Oregon. Through this class, I have also learned how to utilize new media technologies in ways that will enhance the accessibility of my research far beyond the academic context”.
“I am double majoring in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. The Latino Roots course has been beneficial in providing me the tools and support for carrying out cultural fieldwork through a visual medium. The Latino Roots courses lead to a larger understanding of the history and culture of Latinos in Oregon as well. This corse was beneficial in that it took a hands-on approach in capturing oral historical narratives of Latinos in Oregon”.
“I have enjoyed the opportunity to develop my journalism and multimedia skills working on my first long-term documentary project. Learning how to gather archival footage as well as establish a strong and trusting relationship with my subject will be helpful in my future aspirations to become a documentary filmmaker. The most valuable part of this project has been hearing perspectives from my subject, Jill Torres, and other members of Eugene’s Latino community. It has allowed me to understand more about the needs and aspirations of the community, which I believe is important because the Latino community is very much a part of the Eugene community in which I live”.
“I am a senior majoring in Journalism and Communication, with a focus in multimedia storytelling. The Latino Roots course has allowed me to apply my love for storytelling with my curiosities toward anthropologic research. This experience has allowed me to expand my skills as a documentary storyteller, both personally and technologically. I feel grateful for having the opportunity to work with Lidiana Soto, whose story has both inspired me and increased my understanding of the history of Latino roots in Oregon. Upon graduation, I hope that I can continue to produce documentary stories that provide insight into the history of another culture or lifestyle”.
“I am a second year PhD student in Cultural Anthropology. Since taking this class and working on this project I have developed a far greater understanding of how much the perceptions of others can have on one’s own identity and development over time and inform their perceptions of history. Identity and personal narratives are the main themes of my project and the forces that help shape them, both internal and external”.
“As an undergrad student studying Ethnic Studies, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a special project that highlighted the history of Latinos in Oregon. It has been an amazing experience learning about Oregon’s history and connecting with Izza Porter who emigrated with her family from Monterrey to Oregon. I’m excited to use the skills that I learned while making this documentary later in my life”.
See her portrayal of Izza Porter